40K Deep Thought: Slaanesh – Change or Die
Hey BoLS Readers – I’ve got a tin-foil hat conspiracy for you all. What if the Eldar “End-Times” event that Games Workshop has been talking about is actually all about bringing back Slaanesh into the game?
I know – I’m sure a lot of you are probably looking at that picture of Weird Al and thinking “What is AdamHarry talking about?” Well let’s throw some things out there and see where they take us, shall we?
Going, Going, Rebirth?
Last year Slaanesh took a hit in Age of Sigmar. A Chaos God was captured by the Aelfs and hidden somewhere in the new universe. We haven’t seen or heard much from the Dark Prince in AoS and his spot on the Chaos Pantheon has been taken by the Horned Rat…For now.
Slaanesh has also taken a back seat in 40k. don’t believe me? Okay, name a book from Black Library that involves Slaanesh that isn’t Fulgrim. Find one? Good – when was that published? Before 2013? hmm… Let’s look at the past year’s Black Library books/events they are doing:
- Legacy of Russ
- Beast Arises
- The Red Path
Or let’s look at the Chaos Codexes and Supplements:
- Codex Chaos Space Marines
- Crimson Slaughter
- Black Legion
Well at least the Emperor’s Children are getting all that attention in Horus Heresy, right? With all the Boxed game attention like Betrayal at Calth and the rumored Battle at Prospero box or all those EC armies that get featured on Forge World…oh wait. That’s right, Forge World focuses on Sons of Horus, World Eaters, Word Bearers, Death Guard and Iron Warriors in all their example paint schemes. Go check out Forge World’s top seller page or the Horus Heresy section if you don’t believe me. Sure they got Shoulder Pads and a Primarch…just like everyone else.
Slaanesh: The Hardest Sell
Let’s be honest here: Slaanesh is a hard sell to parents. I don’t care about how you feel about it morally one way or the other. I don’t care if you’re in a country that glorifies violence but we can’t have a nipple-slip on TV. The cold, hard truth is that Games Workshop is a business and selling Boobie-snake models to 12-year olds isn’t the best business model. “What about games like Kingdom Death” – yes, there is a market for games aimed at adults. But have you seen the Battle for Vedros line? They aren’t going for the same demographics.
So what does this have to do with the Eldar? Does anyone else find it coincidental that Slaanesh has been silent for over a year and just now we’ve got this new Eldar vs Deathwatch thing going on? We’ve heard murmurs and rumors that the GW design studio had been working on revamping Slaanesh for awhile – ever since we got the last batch of Daemonettes (which were toned down quite a bit from what we saw before).
Now we’ve got these Teasers going on with lots of references to Eldar Lore and their great Nemesis. It seems like the Eldar are gearing up to take on Slaanesh for a final showdown. If Ynnead, the Eldar God of the Dead, is involved who know what trick the Harlequins are going to play.
My money is on a great Eldar god clash between Cegorach, Ynnead and Slaanesh that leaves something new and unseen standing. Remember that each of these deities represent a legitimate portion of Eldar Psyche. Just as Slaanesh subsumed the old Eldar gods, the same could be in store for the Dark Prince in the upcoming Rhana Dandra.
That allows Games Workshop to finally fundamentally redefine Slaanesh/(whatever wins the Eldar god fight) in a new aesthetic theme. What will this theme be? I don’t know! If your Eldar god recipe was:
- 2 cups BDSM god
- 3 cups undead Amish god
- 1 teaspoon Loki
I have no idea what the models would look like but it would be awesome!
What’s really interesting about this theory is that is still allows the old lore and minis to stay around. The Emperor’s Children can remain as the “pleasure/pain” marines and the same with all the current Daemonettes – if you currently have a Slaanesh army you shouldn’t be too worried about it. Why? Because those armies will just represent Slaanesh’s “True Devotees” – check the AoS lore! There are still pockets of Slaanesh’s followers wandering around searching for the Chaos God, they just can’t find him because the Aelfs have him hidden so well.
Maybe this Eldar event will be the major cross-over between 40K and AoS – at least in the fluff. Maybe this is just one big prison break for Slaanesh to be “reborn” as the “Eldar God” – hey the Marines have the Emperor, the Orks have Gork and Mork, the Necron’s have the C’tan, the Tyranids have…well they are just hungry…but still, the Eldar had a pantheon of Gods and this could be a way for Games Workshop to bring that back.
I don’t know what the future holds for Slaanesh and the Eldar. But judging by the response from the last batch of theorizing, I’d say that there is a fan base for Slaanesh so it would foolish for GW to write them out completely. I mean, it’s not like they are the Tomb Kings of 40K, right?
What do you think? Will Slaanesh finally be killed or set free? What about the rebirth of Slaanesh into something new? What would you do with Slaanesh if you were GW?